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PharmAbcine closed USD 3.6 million Series B1 financing
Date 2012-07-13 Hit 9687
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Novartis Venture Fund invest in the KRW 4 Billion Series B of PharmAbcine, a bio venture company


         PharmAbcine, the winner of the Novartis Korea Venture Fund business plan competition (GATE I) in 2008, is moving forward to biotech company with pipelines in clinical phase from a bio startup company


         Novartis Korea Venture Fund to additionally invest in PharmAbcine following its initial investment made in 2009 through an international syndicate with other investor partners


          Novartis Korea Venture Fund is in partnership with Korean bio venture firms to support early stage innovative life science companies in Korea. The deal was led by the Korea-Seoul Life Science Fund


Seoul, June 11, 2012 Novartis Korea Ltd (President: Eric Van Oppens) announced today that Novartis Venture Fund and local investment partners formed an investment syndicate[1] to additionally invest a total of KRW 4 billion in PharmAbcine (Founder and CEO: Jin-San Yu), a biotech company.


PharmAbcine is a bio venture company that is engaged in the development of innovative technologies and products based on fully human monoclonal antibodies in oncology- PharmAcine was the winner of the Novartis Korea Venture Fund business plan competition (GATE I) in 2008.  At that time, Novartis Bioventure Fund played a pivotal role in forming an international syndicate investors in 2009 to attract a large-scale fund of USD 6 million (approx. KRW 6 billion) for PharmAbcine over three years.  


In addition to Novartis Venture Fund, PharmAbcines recently closed preferred series B financing round syndicate with a total of KRW 4 billion includes new investors Korea-Seoul Life Science Fund (by Oxford Bioscience Management Korea Branch and Hanwha Venture Capital Corporation), Mirae Asset Venture Investment and Tong Yang Investment Corporation. Novartis Bioventures and Tong Yang Investment had decided to join this syndicate to additionally invest in PharmAcine following their initial investments in 2009, while Korea-Seoul Life Science Fund played a leading role in forming the syndicate to jointly invest in PharmAbcine for the first time. 


Dr. Anja Koenig, Managing Director, Novartis Venture Fund said, The Novartis Korea Venture Fund has a focus on early stage investments of promising startup bio venture companies in Korea to help them successfully develop novel drugs. We are proud of the progress Pharmabcine has made since its formation in 2008 and we are pleased to welcome the Korea-Seoul Life Science Fund and Mirae Asset Venture Investment to the syndicate.


The additional investment in PharmAbcine is especially significant in that an early start-up bio venture company selected as the winner of the Novartis Korea Venture Fund business plan competition under GATE project in 2008 is now advancing into clinical phase through its vigorous discovery and research efforts.


PharmAbcine is now transforming from an early startup bio venture company into a biotech company with pipeline in clinical phase as the company is currently engaged in conducting a phase I clinical trial at a key hospital in patients with all types of solid tumors , said Dr. Jin-san Yoo, CEO and Founder of PharmAbcine.  With this additional investment, we will put our best efforts to become a forerunner in establish a top quality biotech company in Korea, added he.  


Mr Eric van Oppens, President of Novartis Korea, said, We decided on the additional investment in PharmAbcine based on the scientific development the company has built since the company was selected as the winner of GATE 1 Project in 2008. I believe that the investment in PharmAbcine is a significant milestone in Korean biotech industry. I hope that Novartis Bioventures Funds investment will help to support Koreas efforts to develop the local biotechnology industry with development of novel drugs in the long term.


Dr. Chris Kim (Executive Director, Oxford Bioscience Partners located in Boston, the U.S.), a Korean working at venture capitals in the US, said, We see that the antibody candidate compounds, which being currently developed by PharmAbcine, are innovation-based and have potentials to be developed as one of value-added new drugs. As a partner, we will continue to support PharmAbcine for its growth.    


The global Novartis Venture Fund was established in 1996 with the objective of fostering development of innovative drugs and technologies by providing financial investment and consultation to promising unlisted venture start-ups with innovative ideas in the life science field. It currently has around $700 million under management in more than 60 early start-ups across the world. Since Novartis Venture Fund was expanded in Korea in 2007, Novartis Korea Venture Fund has been seeking possibilities of early stage investments in local venture firms in Korea, aiming at fostering new drug development and new technology in life science industry by providing financial investment and consultation to venture companies with innovative ideas. Novartis Korea Venture Fund has so far invested in start-up bio venture companies in Korea including Neomics, PharmAbcine and Qurient.

[1] Syndicate is a type of investment in which venture capital companies with their respective expertise and financial strengths form a joint investment group to invest in a certain company.